Tuesday , Sep , 04 , 2007 Oly Sandor

San Antonio Taking Risk Dealing Luis Scola To Houston Rockets

I agree with his main point. The Spurs were in a difficult spot. They weren’t convinced Scola’s skill-set was suited for the NBA. They believed he would struggle against bigger NBA posts. The club had no interest in paying a huge buyout for a player they viewed as a spare part …

The San Antonio Express News reports that the Spurs had little chance of getting equal value for Luis Scola:

Scola is a post scorer, and an undersized one. That played well in Europe where he’s been the focus, but the Spurs wondered how Scola would share the same area of the floor with Duncan. The Spurs have been openly shopping Scola for over a year, hoping for a prize in return, and nothing developed. The European Final Four the last three years didn’t help the Spurs. Then Scola faced bigger and better players, and he struggled against competition that is more like the NBA. The consensus: His game won’t translate to America.

As a result, Scola became this era’s Dennis Rodman. As with Rodman, the Spurs faced a dilemma with a player better than his trade value. They instead got the best they could, which was payroll relief. This kind of exchange is not to be diminished in the world of the salary cap, but, in doing so, the Spurs traded Scola as they did Rodman — to the one place that could come back to bite them the hardest.

My Quick Take: Buck Harvey does an excellent job explaining why traded Scola to the Rockets. I only quoted portions of his article. Go back and read the entire piece. It’s great work.

I agree with his main point. The Spurs were in a difficult spot. They weren’t convinced Scola’s skill-set was suited for the NBA. They believed he would struggle against bigger NBA posts. The club had no interest in paying a huge buyout for a player they viewed as a spare part.

Other teams had interest in Scola. But his disappointing play against top European clubs and the buyout fee hurt his market value. So the Spurs cut the best deal possible-even if that meant trading him within the division to .

Harvey partially justifies the Scola deal by saying San Antonio wanted to accommodate the player. I disagree with this point. The Spurs are obligated to do what is best for the team, not the individual player.

This means holding the Argentine’s rights until he can be moved outside the division. Why help a rising power like Houston? What happens if he puts the Rockets over-the-top next year? The Spurs didn’t believe Scola was a rotation player, so what is wrong with waiting until a safer deal to an Eastern Conference team comes along?

San Antonio is the best organization in sports. This makes the Scola deal so hard to understand.

Should the Spurs have dealt Scola to the Rockets? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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